Floyd Mayweather has received much of the blame for having yet to finalize a deal to fight Manny Pacquiao. The boxer has remained relatively quiet during negotiations, but he’s used social media to show that he does want to make the bout happen.
When negotiations between the two sides have seemingly stalled, Mayweather’s camp took the brunt of the blame. There’s been speculation for years that Mayweather has been avoiding Pacquiao so he can maintain his perfect record. However, Mayweather has let it be known that wants the fight to happen as badly as anyone.
After the two boxers ran into each other at a Miami Heat game on Jan.27, Mayweather, Pacquiao and Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz met for over an hour. Mayweather has posted a video from the meeting on Instagram, in which he explains that he needs to fight Pacquiao before he retires.
"I congratulate him on his career," Mayweather says in the video. "He had a wonderful career and I had a wonderful career, but before we leave the sport, of course we have to make this fight happen."
If Mayweather is truly intent on fighting the Filipino icon before he calls it quits, he will need to act quickly. Mayweather has two fights left on his Showtime contract, and he has said on multiple occasions that he’ll be done after his bouts in 2015. The two sides are reportedly working on a deal that would allow them to fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.
Mayweather’s video might have been a response to those who blame him for not getting the fight made. Pacquiao promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has been very vocal throughout the whole process, indicating that Mayweather’s side is holding up negotiations.
Mayweather has turned down multiple opportunities to fight Pacquiao in recent years. He’s used drug-testing regulations, the proposed split of the purse, and Pacquiao’s performance in the ring as reasons to take on other opponents. If Mayweather is finally ready to fight Pacquiao, though, other factors still need to be resolved.
Showtime and HBO must come to terms on a joint pay-per-view, something that has been considered one of the biggest obstacles in getting a deal done. Arum recently told the Associated Press that the networks have agreed upon many of the details, but Dan Rafael of ESPN reports that no agreement has been made.
"There are a few significant issues remaining on both the fighter side and the network side of this deal," Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president for Showtime Sports, told the AP. "While we are optimistic, it's a bit premature to say that the networks are in total agreement."
In 2002, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who was signed to HBO, faced Mike Tyson, who was signed to Showtime. The joint collaboration paid dividends, as the fight set a pay-per-view record that would stand until Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
It seems like the odds of a Mayweather-Pacquiao mega-fight finally happening change every day. Just a few weeks ago, Arum indicated that a deal was on the horizon. According to the latest update, no progress was made in the last few days.
Regarding #MayweatherPacquiao source involved in negotiations told me "zero activity this weekend other than Floyd's video."
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) February 9, 2015